Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson yesterday opened the 10th annual general meeting of the Caribbean Federation of Police Welfare Associations at the Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Trelawny.

Representatives from ten of the 16 welfare associations across the region were present to place the issues regarding welfare specific to their region under the microscope. The aim is to establish a consensus within the Caribbean region on how welfare matters are dealt within the respective police forces.

In his address, Major General Antony Anderson said, “[Welfare] is a passion of mine.” Using the backdrop of his own experience with establishing the Welfare Division of the JCF, he implored the representatives to fully explore ways in which the welfare of police could be fully addressed.

“… in a structured way welfare wasn’t being dealt with in the way it should be,” he said as he explained that when he took office in 2018, there were too many pathways for dealing with the welfare of members.

He continued, “The chief welfare officer of the Jamaica Constabulary Force is me… the objective was to shift the needle of welfare within the JCF.”

He said the welfare department, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Raymond Wilson has managed over 450 medical interventions for police officers at a cost of over 250 million dollars. He also highlighted that of the 75 outstanding files regarding death benefits, 58 were dealt with within the first year.

According to General Secretary of the CFPWA, Sergeant David Barnett, the challenges and concerns of the ‘men on the ground’ are generally the same. He said the job of CFPWA—which has been in existence since 2007, was to bring to the attention of the Commissioners of Police issues that affect the welfare of Police Officers across the region. He highlighted issues such as the 40-hour work week, the forced vaccination of members and Police officers who require legal support from incidents arising from the lawful execution of their duties.

He also said one of the main objectives of the conference was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the representatives of member states to codify and standardize the treatment of the CFPWA within the local welfare associations.

The three-day conference concludes on Friday, May 13. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Horace Chang; President of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police, Colin John; Vice President of the Caribbean Association of Police Welfare Associations, Travis Chicot, Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Corporal Rohan James; Chairman of the Police Officer’s Association Senior Superintendent of Police Wayne Cameron and Senator Peter Bunting, Opposition Spokesman on National Security also addressed the opening ceremony.